OFWs Becoming more Entrepreneurial

By Cheryl M. Arcibal

FILIPINOS, both overseas and in the Philippines, are becoming more entrepreneurial and willing to take greater risk to put up their own business instead of choosing to be employed.

“I think iba na ang mindset. Kasi years ago, noong araw ay para lang kumita. I think ang mindset ngayon, they want to
know their future.

“At saka iba na din kung paano magisip ang millennials. They think ‘I don’t want to work, I want to express myself.’ If they take up culinary arts, they are now proud to be a chef, not anymore ‘kusinero ako’. Iba na ngayon, they’d rather start their own and employ [other people],” Armando Bartolome, chairman of the Association of Filipino Franchise Inc. (AFFI), told Hong Kong News on the sidelines of the SMART Pinoy Negosyo caravan held on October 15 at the Bayanihan Centre.

AFFI was first established as the First Filipino Franchising Federation (F4) in 1997, and has since then grown into a group of 140 member companies that have an aggregate workforce of 96,000.

In the Philippines, Bartolome said there are 2,500 franchisors in the Philippines, with 54 percent of them engaged in food business, and 45 percent in services.

There, however, remain issues that hold back OFWs in investing and pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations.

First among these is their fear of losing their hard-earned money and the lack of trust on the capability of their kin to manage the business.

Ramon Lopez, Go Negosyo Executive Director, agreed, saying that while an increasing number of Filipinos are hungry and keen to know more about entrepreneurship, many still lack information about the basics of business.

“Takot sila (OFWs in Hong Kong). Nandyan pa din ang takot at saka comfortable din kasi sila dito. Lahat sila nagsabi na gusto rin nilang umuwi, malungkot din naman dito,” he said.

Bartolome added that he is trying to convince at least 15 members of AFFI to offer a scheme for OFWs that would allow franchisors to initially manage the franchise business of OFWs for at least a year and then to eventually let the latter take over it.

“Mayroon kaming pino-propose for OFWs na aalagaan ng franchisor ang franchise for one year. After one year, the OFW owner should come home and manage the business on their own. Kung kikita sila ng P50,000 sa atin kasama ang pamilya, tapos dito P20,000, siyempre sa atin ka na,” he said.

During the caravan’s forum, various business opportunities were introduced, namely franchise opportunities at Ink All-You-Can by Jerry Ilao; Reyes Haircutters by Les Reyes; and dealership with outdoors apparel and equipment retailer Lagalag.

Myrna Padilla, a former domestic worker here in Hong Kong and now the owner of a BPO company in the Philippines, also shared how she was able to prioritize her dream to be with her family for good and put up her own business.


(Source: HongkongNews.com.hk)

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